Jeanneau 39DS

By John Kerr

Canadian Yachting has done a lot of reviews of European boats of late but because of timing we have missed the Jeanneau boat line and have yet to review it. The builder is well-known and well-established and has been building boats for over 50 years.

Although we have yet to sail this boat we have crawled through it a few times and are keen to present at the very least this profile. We are told that the DS 39 is the fourth model in the DS line; it’s a beautiful boat capitalizing on the neat teardrop window and resulting cabin lines gifted from the 54 DS. Other models are the 49 DS and 42 DS. While the DS moniker refers to deck saloon we immediately referred to it as distinctive style.

It’s this new flare of boat that seems to be hitting the drawing boards from Europe of late and Jeanneau is not disappointing in both power and sail lines. The DS 39 enters a very competitive niche, that 40-something range where the buyers are somewhat driven by value and are a slightly more cost conscious.

Designers Marc Lombard and Garraoni have done a wonderful job bringing many new attributes to this boat. It is a must-see if you are thinking of purchasing a 35-40 footer. It is a perfect family boat and easily handles two couples on an extended trip.

The 39DS model is a sleek and well-fitted cruising boat. Its12’ 8” beam runs far aft and gives the boat a big feeling while performance, according to all reports we have, is never compromised.

Above decks the Jeanneau DS 39 has wonderfully appealing lines. Its now fashionable curved coach roof lends a nice touch and provides tons of great open deck space. Moving forward is easy because of the neat way they have split the upper and lower shrouds, with the lowers inboard at the coach house roof and the uppers attached on standard chain plates. Double lifelines on well -designed and fitted stanchions are standard.

The unique shaped cockpit is large and flows into the companionway; the seating is more than ample. We loved the twin steering wheel set up and the neat cupped like seating for the helmsmen that certainly allows for comfortable steering and a great view of the headsail. We always like to see if we can see the sails from a comfortable position, though I must say we are somewhat biased; we always try to see if we can sit up and steer from the weather side. We also liked the position of the primary Harken winches allowing an easy trim from the helm when and if needed. The mainsheet leads aft under the cabin top along with other control lines but is easily accessible for any crew. The secondary winches are located in the perfect place to allow easy use even with a full canvas and dodger in place.

The cockpit table is permanently mounted on the centreline and because of the unique triangular cockpit feel there is plenty of room to get around it. It’s got an easy and elegant transom-exit allowing a two-step drop to the integrated teak-decked swim platform.

Looking forward the integrated raise splash rail forward of the companionway is a natural attachment point for the dodger.

The Selden mast is deck-stepped and uses the in-mast, roller-furling configuration. Selden continues to develop this technology and we found this one easy to furl and unfurl. The discontinuous rig set up–linked at each spreader–is done well and the mast exit boxes are designed beautifully. Going forward, the DS39 comes standard with a nice stainless anchor sprit, a substantial anchor locker and rope chain windlass mounted below the deck.

The distinctive styling continues below. For some reason boat designers are taking the latest in architectural design and incorporating what they see on dry land into the new boats; the new DS 39 curved steps are not only a great design feature but practical when entering and exiting when heeled underway. What is also striking is the openness but clearly this is a direct result of the increased headroom that comes well aft due to the deck lines and the large windows, ports and large deck skylights that flank the mast. The integrated, L-shaped galley is a nice touch as it contributes to the openness with a well-placed clear backsplash (accommodating a double sink) being the only barrier to the saloon.

The single head on the port side takes advantage of the maximum width of the boat and the angled door entry complement the interior’s feel. In the past the temptation to put two heads on board would have ruined what we feel is one of the best uses of interior space we have seen. Below it feels like a boat much bigger than it is. The head has a large shower and is spacious in its own right. The large storage locker is also accessed through the head as well as above deck through the cockpit seat.

The chart table is also on the port side opposite the galley and provides ample room to work and lots of room to add any needed electronics. The large table is neatly fitted to allow easy sitting for six.

The master cabin is aft with its huge berth athwartships; it’s surprisingly bright with ample light from the hull ports and hatch. Well-ventilated, it also boasts a large hanging locker. A double aft cabin configuration is also available. The forward cabin’s v berth is large and well lit through the forward hatch.

The boat is powered by a 40 HP Yanmar that is easily accessed through a series of hatches in the aft cabin and head and aft berth.

All in all this is a great boat, well laid out below and spacious. Jeanneau must be complimented on not trying to do too much and overdue it. The distinctive design above decks is certainly matched below and the value speaks for its self. All in all, it is a boat not to miss.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s June 2007 issue.


LOA – 38′ 10″ – 11.81m

LWL – 35′ 1″ – 10.69m

Beam – 12′ 8″ – 3.84m

Draft (deep) – 6′ 6″ – 1.98m

Sail Area – 667 sq.ft. – 62 sq. m

Displacement (deep) – 15, 984 lb. – 7,250 kg

Water – 94 gal – 356 l

Fuel – 34 gal. – 129 l

Engine – 40-hp. Yanmar

Designer – Marc Lombard / Garroni Designers

Price – $172,000 (2007)


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